20-Day South African Explorer South (Johannesburg to Cape Town)

Choose a Date

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
  Available     Full     Unavailable
 

Highlights of this trip include:

  • Game drives in Kruger National Park
  • Panorama Route - Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window
  • Nature Walk at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Zulu Cultural evening
  • Mandela Capture Site
  • Visit Howick Falls
  • Hike in Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
  • Drive through Golden Gate
  • Visit to Vulture restaurant
  • Lesotho Village Visit
  • 2x Afternoon game drive in Addo National Park
  • Stop in the surfing town of Jeffreys Bay
  • Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
  • Morning Visit to Natures Valley
  • Stop at Ronnie’s sex shop (Famous Pub on Route 62)
  • Stony Point Penguin Colony visit
  • Chocolate & Wine tasting

Wonderful Wildlife, Beautiful Beaches and Exquisite Views

 Enjoy a 20-day African adventure tour through South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho where you will enjoy a variety of adventures!

Your adventure kicks off with a visit to Kruger National Park. Experience the thrill of being on safari, observing the big five as well as zebras, giraffe and rhinos in the largest game reserve in South Africa (Kruger is larger than some small countries in Europe).

The sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window.

Your journey then winds through the rolling emerald hills of Swaziland and up to the highlands of Lesotho where you have the opportunity to go pony trekking.

Your game viewing experience continues in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered Rhinoceros. After a relaxing day at the beach in Durban, we roll through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park.

We continue with our tour to the Garden Route, a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and with an exciting menu of optional adventures.

Before we arrive in Cape Town we visit the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn.

Day 1 – Greater Kruger National Park

Leaving the city of Johannesburg behind us we make our way east through the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Our journey today follows in the footsteps of the old trade routes to the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. This afternoon there will be an opportunity to join an optional Sundowner drive. Booking is essential and your guide can assist on departure this morning.

Meals Included

  • Dinner

 

Day 2 - Kruger National Park

Rising early this morning we enter the Kruger National Park to enjoy a full day of game viewing. The abundance of wildlife presents us with opportunities for excellent sightings and the Kruger is also home to the famed members of Africa’s Big-5. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Our activity package offers the added excitement of experiencing the park from an open-sided 4x4 vehicle. This evening there is a second opportunity for the optional Sundowner Drive.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 3 - Kruger National Park

While those who elect to do the optional morning walk will have an earlier start, we set out a little later today and travel the short distance to the Panorama Route. Strung along the escarpment that divides the central plateau and low-lying bushveld of the Kruger, the sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 4 – Kruger to Swaziland

We start the day early with some coffee and traditional rusks before setting off through Kruger on our way to Swaziland. Our truck offers an excellent platform for game viewing as we make our way south. We exit the southern end of the park and travel the short distance to Swaziland border, our route this afternoon winds through the mountains and forests of this landlocked kingdom. Our destination for today is the Ezulwini Valley just south of the capital Mbabane.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 5 – Swaziland – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Endless hours of self-guided exploration within the small 4560ha Mlilwane sanctuary are possible due to the relative absence of dangerous game. This morning our guide will lead us out on a nature walk to explore the “ Nature Trail “ which provides interpretation of historical and environmental information of the area. Later this morning, we embark on a 2-hour guided walk through the Esijeni community, allowing us a glimpse of life on a day-to-day basis. This interactive experience could involve grinding maize, carrying water, building a wall or washing clothes in the stream.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 6 – Swaziland - St Lucia

We bid farewell to Swaziland and re-enter South Africa, continuing south into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans. This evening we are treated to a cultural experience where we will learn more about the Zulu traditions and language.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 7 - Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve / iSimangaliso Wetland Park

We set out early this morning for a game drive in the nearby Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered rhinoceros. While rhinoceros are the most famous of the park's inhabitants, the park also provides a home to many other species, including the Big5 that we all hope to see. Returning to our lodging for a siesta, we freshen up for an afternoon boat cruise on St Lucia estuary.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast 
  • Dinner

 

Day 8 - Kwa Zulu Natal Coast – UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

Running the length of the KwaZulu-Natal province, the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO recognized world heritage site. Whether you go by the Zulu name uKhahlamba, meaning 'barrier of spears', or the Afrikaans name Drakensberge, meaning 'dragon mountains', these towering mountains will be our backdrop for the next two nights. On our way, we make a short stop in Durban to stretch our legs before continuing to view the scenic Howick Falls and a visit to the nearby site that marked the capture of South Africa’s most famous man, Nelson Mandela.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 9 - UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

We set out this morning for a day of hiking to explore the mountains of the Drakensberg, along our way we will have the opportunity to view examples of San rock art with a local guide. While we encourage everyone to make the most of the day in mountains, we may offer separate options depending on the activity level of the group. With a number of trails available, we can ensure that we cater to every need, the most important aim is to ensure everyone enjoys this mountain paradise at their own pace.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 10 - Lesotho – Malealea

Our journey today begins with a mountain pass and an opportunity to visit a Vulture restaurant where we hope to view these fascinating birds. Our route winds its way through the magnificent cliffs off the Golden Gate National Park before we enter Lesotho in the afternoon, we pass the capital city of Maseru as we continue the climb to our base high amongst the mountain peaks.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 11 - Lesotho – Malealea

The clean air of the mountains accompanies us this morning as we explore the mountains on foot, our hike concludes with a village visit and the opportunity to gain insight into the community that calls these mountains home. The Basotho are famous for their traditional hats, blankets and their sturdy ponies. Basotho ponies are renowned for their surefootedness in the mountains and you have the opportunity of an optional pony trek this afternoon to experience this first-hand.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 12 - South Africa – Graaff Reinet

Returning to South Africa, we descend the mountains and take aim across the Great Karoo. The semi-arid Karoo represents the heartland of rural South Africa and presents a stark contrast to the mountains we leave behind. Our overnight stop is set in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in the country. We cross the mighty Orange (Gariep) River today as we journey through the vast countryside of the Karoo. This evening you will have the opportunity to join a sundowner excursion to the Valley of Desolation. This unique valley offers a panoramic view over the town and the wide open plains stretching out below. Kindly note that during the winter months, this activity will become a Sunrise excursion to the valley of Desolation the following morning.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 13 - Greater Addo Elephant National Park area

Setting course for the coast once again, we pass through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park. Upon arrival in the greater Addo region, we set up camp and head to the National Park to enjoy an afternoon game drive in our Nomad truck, in search of the famous elephants that call Addo home.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast 
  • Dinner

 

Day 14 – Greater Addo Elephant National Park area

This morning you will have the option to visit Port Elizabeth before returning to camp for lunch and in the afternoon we make our second visit to Addo. Recent expansion has seen Addo grow to become the third largest of South Africa’s National Parks. The unique vegetation of Addo supports a wide variety of wildlife and we will spend the afternoon in search of the animals .

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 15 - Tsitsikamma National Park

Setting out early this morning we make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay. Most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. We then turn west to the Tsitsikamma region where we set up for the next two nights and where the wonders of the Garden Route await.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 16 – Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world-renowned Otter Trail. This is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. We return after our hike and will have the chance to enjoy the Woodcutters Journey in the afternoon – experiencing the uniqueness of the Tsitsikamma biome and learning about the history of the area and its indigenous fauna & flora.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 17 - Heart of the Garden Route

The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for an exploration of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this paradise. We end the afternoon on the beautiful beaches of the Keurbooms Lagoon. Today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you with a plan to get the most out the day, the truck will run a set schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs giving you the freedom to join or leave at the places of most interest to you.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

 

Day 18 - Oudtshoorn

We make our way inland, crossing the Outeniqua Mountains and descend to the town of Oudtshoorn. We head to the famous Cango caves to enjoy a guided tour where we marvel at the astonishing formations that have formed in these impressive limestone caves.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 19 – Route 62 - Hermanus

Traveling through the valley of the Klein Karoo, we follow the winding tarmac of Route 62. Road trips in South Africa are an exploration of the rural highlights that dot the lesser-known byways of the land. No journey would be complete without sampling the offerings of a “Padstal” along the way. These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub!

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 

 

Day 20 – The Cape Whale Coast Route

Made up of a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys, the Cape Whale Coast is a pristine stretch of the South African coastline which runs from the town of Rooiels for roughly 150km, to the east. Beginning early, we will have a short time to stroll along the boardwalk in Hermanus in search of the southern right whales that frequent the shores in the months of July to November. Next, we stop at the largest breeding colony of the African Penguin, Stony Point Nature Reserve before traveling along the coast to a wine farm in the Stellenbosch region to sample some chocolates & wine. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in the city centre of Cape Town.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

 

This itinerary has been written with the Activity Package items included. If you wish to participate in all the activities listed, you will need to purchase the Activity Package.

The tour will start from Belvedere Estate in Johannesburg.

The tour will end at Nomad Adventure Tours, Cape Town.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:

  • Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. Sleeping bags are also available for hire (if pre-booked). Please speak to your sales consultant if you wish to hire one.
  • Pillow, travel pillow or pillowcase (to put your soft jacket in)
  • Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
  • Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
  • A waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
  • Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
  • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Towel (or travel towel)

RECOMMENDED:

  • A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
  • A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a particular time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild painkillers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1-litre capacity. Our vehicle has large tanks of treated water for your refills.
  • Camera with a spare battery or power bank.
  • Overnight bag. To take 2 days' worth of luggage on your Okavango Delta portion of the itinerary
  • Binoculars
  • A small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap for hand washing your clothes
  • Earplugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
  • A good book, a journal or smartphone with music for the long drives

OPTIONAL:

  • Sleep sheet. If you are traveling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
  • Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travelers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:

The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is a strict maximum of 20kg. Your main luggage will be stored in a compartment at the back of the truck. Traditional, framed suitcases are not recommended as they are large and can damage other travelers belongings while on the road. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice.

VALUABLES:

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

POWER:

Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Some campsites have electricity and charging of devices is advised before checking out the following day. We also recommend power banks and multi-country power converters.

SPECIAL NOTE: CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:

In many parts of Africa, female travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. We recommend wearing skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum.

Meals

19 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 17 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle

Accommodation

  • Camping option
  • Accommodated option

Included activities

  • Game drives in Kruger National Park
  • Panorama Route - Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window
  • Nature Walk at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Zulu Cultural evening
  • Mandela Capture Site
  • Visit Howick Falls
  • Hike in Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
  • Drive through Golden Gate
  • Visit to Vulture restaurant
  • Lesotho Village Visit
  • 2x Afternoon game drive in Addo National Park
  • Stop in the surfing town of Jeffreys Bay
  • Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
  • Morning Visit to Natures Valley
  • Stop at Ronnie’s sex shop
  • Stony Point Penguin Colony visit
  • Chocolate & Wine tasting
  • All meals not listed on the itinerary 
  • All optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Pre and post tour transport and activities
  1. Cancellation charges less than 14 Days in advance: No refund
  2. Cancellation charges between 15-30 days in advance: 75% of full value plus R100 admin fee
  3. Cancellation charges between 31 - 60 days in advance: 50% of full value plus R100 admin fee
  4. Cancellation charges between 31 - 60 days in advance: Full refund minus 5% admin fee
  5. Changes in dates/transfer of ownership to be handled on a case to case basis